1920 - (Part 2) A BLACK DAY
All through the match he was given a hostile reception when he whistled for a free kick, without the crowd waiting to see which side got the free kick. The language from the Chelsea players was filthy, and they made no attempt to play the ball. Moorabbin ground was stated to be the slaughter ground; if that were so, well all he could say was that Chelsea was the cremating ground. He could not say what would have happened if Moorabbin had retaliated. During the game he had heard a Chelsea player say, “You ____, they gave you a tenner to twist on us.” Repeatedly he heard the remark, “You settled McCauley, we will settle you, you_____.” Laidlaw was continually picking out the smallest man on Moorabbin’s side, and as the result, the latter was layed out for eight minutes.
Mr J. Searle (Moorabbin) said it was the first match he had witnessed this season and he hoped it would be the last, and no umpire should be asked to officiate at Chelsea, unless that club guaranteed that two policemen would be in attendance. Chelsea supporters were nothing more nor less than a lot of hoodlums.
Umpire Welch said he witnessed the match, and agreed with the reports on the game. Just as the bell rang, players in front of Chelsea goals, and all players except Dawson, ran to the dressing room. Dawson went to escort Smith, and someone called out “Get to Dawson, he is only a police pimp. He is trying to shield Smith, he is a robber.”
Mr McCauley (Chelsea) said that all he could say was that Smith had a vivid imagination as far as he was personally concerned. Officials of the club escorted Smith to the dressing room, but they could not manage the crowd.
The Chairman (Mr McKay): Are you satisfied that your players interfered with the umpire?
Mr McCauley: I am satisfied to go on with the charge.
Mr Ellis, vice-president of Chelsea, said that Smith was justified in sending in such a report. A man who could not keep his head should not play football. There were some fine sports in the club, and he thought that other teams had got a good innings at Chelsea. Unfortunately the place was visited by week-enders, and when the supporters got out of hand it did not take long for a player when he received a hard bump to lose his head, especially when urged on by a lot of half-drunken fools. He was sorry for what had occurred, and if there was any punishment to be meted out he would like them to spare the club. He would be with them in punishing a man who did not know how to keep his temper. (Hear Hear)
The Investigation Committee decided to disqualify Laidlaw, Johnson and McCauley for life, and to disqualify the club for the rest of the season.
Mr Ellis said he was sorry the decision had come in the way it had. He desired to wish the Association every success, and expressed the hope that in the future if Chelsea could get a team together they would be able to rejoin the association.
Continued Part (3)